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Explaining Health Care Reform: Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors

This brief explains three provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors – that were intended to promote insurer competition on the basis of quality and value and promote insurance market stability, particularly in the early years of reform as the ACA marketplaces, also known as exchanges, were established.

How ACA Marketplace Premiums Measure Up to Expectations

Premium increases in the health insurance marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will likely be higher in 2017 than in recent years; however, the actual average benchmark premium in the ACA marketplaces in 2016 is below what the Congressional Budget Office projected for 2016 before the health law was passed. How actual marketplace premiums compare to what CBO expected in doing those budget projections is an important factor in determining whether the ACA continues to be on track to reducing the deficit.

Analysis of 2017 Premium Changes and Insurer Participation in the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces

This analysis provides an early look at changes in insurer participation and premiums for the lowest-cost and second-lowest silver marketplace plans in major cities in 13 states plus the District of Columbia where complete data on rates is publicly available for all insurers. The average increase, weighted by 2016 state marketplace enrollment, is higher this year than in the previous years, though the vast majority of marketplace customers who receive premium subsidies under the health law would be protected from premium increases if they shop around and choose one of their market’s lowest-cost plans.

2016 Survey of Health Insurance Marketplace Assister Programs and Brokers

In its third year, the survey tracks the experiences of assistance programs signing people up for Affordable Care Act coverage during open enrollment and, for consumers who qualify, during special enrollment periods. This year, for the second time, the survey includes health insurance brokers who helped people apply for non-group coverage in an ACA marketplace.

Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Wave 3

The survey, conducted shortly after the close of the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment period, is the third in a series exploring the experiences of individuals who purchase their own health insurance in the nongroup market, including coverage purchased both inside and outside the ACA’s marketplaces. It examines enrollees’ satisfaction with their health plans’ premiums, deductibles, and provider networks, their views on affordability, shopping experiences, and problems encountered with their plans.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.